Citadel Holdings Reports 31% Increase in Earnings

Citadel Holdings, the target of a hostile takeover bid by Great Western Financial Corp., said its first-quarter earnings were up by 31% from a year ago. For the three months ended March 31, the company earned $8 million, compared to the year-earlier period, when it netted $6.1 million.

Glendale-based Citadel, parent of Fidelity Federal Savings & Loan Assn., the state’s 19th-largest thrift, credited the increase to a higher profit margin on loans, up to 2.46% as of March 31, compared to 2.24% a year ago.

Citadel also noted that its general and administrative expenses rose by 10.6% to $11.5 million, primarily because of costs associated with the takeover fight.

Great Western, parent of Beverly Hills-based Great Western Savings & Loan Assn., the nation’s third largest, has made a tender offer to acquire Citadel for stock worth about $160.8 million, or $50.25 per share.

Citadel said last week that it received an all-cash offer of $65 per share but that the offer was withdrawn because two Citadel directors who are large shareholders rejected it.

Citadel didn’t identify the investor group making the offer.